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In Search of the StillpointIn Search of the Stillpoint


The emperor of China was a very great painter.
He loved painting,
and he used to call other painters to the palace every year
to have an exhibition.
When he had become very old he declared, at one annual function,
"Now I am very old and I want to see the most perfect painting in the world.
I will provide space in the palace to the painter and whatever he needs."
So a few painters who thought they could create such a painting stayed in the palace.
Somebody completed his painting in one month and brought it to the emperor.
He had done well but it was not the most perfect.
By and by three years passed and only one painter remained.
For three years he had been painting.
He was not painting on canvas;
he was painting on the wall of the palace where his room was allotted to him.
He had painted a beautiful forest on a moonlit night.
There was a small river and a very small footpath
going round and around the trees and then disappearing in the forest.
After three years he came to the emperor and said,
"Now you can come. Whatever I can do I have done.
I think it is the most perfect painting in the world,
so I invite Your Honor to come.
And I don't ask any reward
— these three years were the most precious that I have lived
— just your seeing it is enough."
All the other painters had been painting for reward,
and when you are painting out of some motivation, for some reward,
your painting cannot be perfect.
Your motivation will be the dust.
This painter said, "I am not at all interested in any reward;
you have already given it to me.
These three years I have lived such a beautiful life, day and night;
nothing could be more than you have given me.
Now just look at the painting so that I can go back home.
My children and my wife may be waiting for me."
The emperor went with him.
Certainly this painter had done the greatest job.
He became so interested that he asked the painter,
"Where does this small path go, finally?"
The painter said,
"I have never gone on it but if you are willing to come with me,
we can go and see where it leads.
This question has arisen in me also many times,
`Where does this small path lead?'"
So both the painter and the emperor entered the path
and disappeared behind the trees,
and nothing has been heard of them since.

Osho Isan: No Footprints in the Blue Sky


§



The Artist Vidhano

He’s been hailed as “Perth’s Answer to Michelangelo” in Australia — and that’s not just hype.

Originally from New Zealand, Vidhano has talent to burn
and it’s literally busting to get out and do its thing.
When we meet to create this article he’s full of energy,
walking distractedly around the room
or peering over my shoulder at the computer screen.
He finally sprawls out on the floor and,
having magicked a pencil and paper out of thin air,
is sketching in quick, decisive movements.
His energy is suddenly quieted, absorbed; he has entered a private world.
Clearly painting is not only a way of Vidhano channeling his vast creativity,
it is also a method of centering.

“The whole thing is about meditation, not decoration,” he says.
“Art is my meditation because it takes me to a still point. Through Osho’s words and the whole dimension of meditation
I found what I have been looking for my whole life
— the still point.”

His trompe d’oeil — literally “trick of the eye” — murals
decorate private residences and office blocks in and around Perth.
To view any one of them is to instantly enter the illusion
that he loves to play with.



§





Beyond Limits/To the Unchanging

“What the world needs is no limits and, surrounded by four walls, people set themselves limits.

As all life is an illusion anyway, in that what we see as concrete can actually be transparent, when you paint something on a wall as if the wall isn’t there, on a certain level it isn’t there.
And that’s a kind of freedom.
It takes you beyond your solid surroundings but also gives you an insight into the way you think you are.
“We think we are very solid in certain aspects of ourselves but various aspects are constantly changing.
One day we think we are very together; yet the next, our world falls apart.
Or one day we are really low and the next moment we can be so happy.
Which or what is the permanent state of ‘I am’?
Who are we through all these changes?
Ultimately, if your inquiry is ‘Who am I?’ you do eventually arrive at a point of being the watcher of all this.”

§


The Reality of the Illusion

The Reality of the Illusion

“All art work takes you into another world but a lot of it is seen as just that: ‘art work.’
What I am trying to achieve is the window, so you are not seeing the piece as art but as a separate reality, and for a moment you enter that reality.

"From an early age I was in awe of everything :
the whole goddam shebang.
The more I look, the more mysterious it becomes.
The more you see — not in the sense of trying to work it out, to project some meaning on anything, because that is exhausting....
You see the world in the same way but instead of your understanding going out to it
— labeling something as being a certain color or a certain configuration — you let the world in more.

“The still point is something I had always looked at as a passive observer of my whole life
but I had never fully understood it till I met Osho.

He presented very simple, fundamental truths about existence that I was aware of,
and I am sure others are,
held them up to me and said,

‘This is what you are looking at.’

The whole existence is right there in front of our eyes all the time in its purity,
without any interpretations,
but we can’t see it because we have interpretations,
our own egos and our minds which distort and label.

“Osho takes what is there and puts it into words and into stories through which we can see more clearly.
He has a knack of fooling our minds, our judgmental minds,
to introduce us to a reality which the mind can’t see and which is beyond the mind.”

§



...effortless


“People call the way I paint lazy and unmotivated; I call it effortless. It has to be effortless.
Effort is needed but not a striving, tense effort of wanting to achieve something. Not a goal-oriented ‘art piece.’

“The preparation — mixing paint and so on — takes up a certain amount of my energy. The rest of the time I become what I am painting. It is a meditation for me. I paint first from the feeling of what I want and then the vision comes.

“I use different elements from my life.
There might be deep water from one experience in my life mixed with water from another pond I have sat by.
So everything has an emotional connection for me.

“I go for what I see as the essence of this existence. All that exists is neither good nor bad.
It has everything in it : it is a balance, a harmony.
Violence exists in this world, yes, but so does its opposite.
There is a dynamic happening between them.
That’s what the world is — a dynamic flow — and if it weren’t, it wouldn’t exist.

"And there is a still point around which this all revolves.

“I find silence in nature.
So what I am doing is connecting the two worlds.
My art is a focus, a window between the two worlds of ‘reality’
or between the real and the surreal.



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